For many Kiwis the distressing deaths of two cyclists in the Wellington region on Thursday 19 June 2008 have highlighted the need for New Zealand's roads to be made safer for people already cycling or wanting to take it up. The 9-Point Plan for Cycle Safety has been the focus of an e-petition.
To find out more, including campaign updates, our e-petition and resources, please continue reading.
For many Kiwis the distressing deaths of two cyclists in the Wellington region on Thursday 19 June 2008 have highlighted the need for New Zealand's roads to be made safer for people already cycling or wanting to take it up.
We know that there are Government strategies and programmes to promote cycling and cycle safety, but we haven't seen many changes on the street yet.
Des Eyre was knocked off his bike into the path of a truck by a carelessly opened car door, while Steve Fitzgerald was hit by a truck on a busy stretch of road that cyclists are forced to use because the Petone to Ngauranga cycle track has been incomplete for decades.
Urgent action is needed. This will require a lot more resources and the will to make changes.
If we're serious about harnessing the potential of cycling to help with key problems like obesity, climate change, congestion and air pollution, then we have to make it easier for people to choose cycling as a way to get around.
We want to see national and local government do the following things in the next two years:
- Run a national Share the Road promotional campaign telling motorists and cyclists how to co-exist safely on the roads.
- Change transport planning and funding processes to make sure key problem areas or gaps for cyclists (e.g. Ngauranga to Petone cycleway, Auckland Harbour Bridge) get fixed - no more long delays or buck-passing between various organisations.
- Spend less on road building and more on encouraging alternatives to driving - more motor vehicles on our roads only make things less safe and attractive for cycling.
- Promote the use of lower speed zones (particularly 30km/h).
- Change the tolerance for motor vehicle speed limit enforcement from 10km/h to a maximum of ten per cent of the posted speed limit.
- Increase the walking and cycling budget in the National Land Transport Programme by a factor of five.
- Change funding and audit processes to make sure that all roading projects improve the environment for cycling.
- Change the driver licensing system and driver instruction (including bus and truck drivers) so motorists are educated about how to take care around cyclists.
- Fund and promote nationwide roll-out of cycle skills training for children and adults.
Internationally, the speed and volume of motor vehicles are acknowledged as the two most important factors influencing cyclists' safety on the road, so these form an important part of our 9-Point Plan.
The 9-Point Plan for Cycle Safety has been the focus of an e-petition. Thank you to everyone for their support and their useful and considered comments. We are keeping the petition online so interested parties can read the comments, but the feedback so far has now been summarised.
CAN also issued a media release after Des & Steve were killed.
Endurance rider Colin Anderson took time to promote CAN's petition and push some safety messages during his 24 hour marathon fund-raising effort in Invercargill.
As part of this campaign, CAN and BikeNZ met with the Minister of Transport Safety, Harry Duynhoven, on 29 July. Notes from this meeting are available on this website.
CAN and BikeNZ then met with Hon Annette King, Minister of Transport and Harry Duynhoven, Minister of Transport Safety on 10 September. Notes of this meeting are also available here.
A follow-up meeting was held with NZ Transport Agency officials on 11 November to discuss some of the issues. Progress is being made on some fronts, particularly in the areas of the Road Code and driver instruction/testing. You can access notes from this meeting here.
Through our local group network we will continue to press for changes at local council level that will make our roads safer and more pleasant to cycle on.
CAN has written to press for a coroner's review of the two recent cycle fatalities to look for systemic causes behind cycle crashes and to recommend remedies
What can you do?
- write to your mayor or local MP to ask them to do what they can to see that the 9-Point Plan is adopted
- write to the editor of your local paper about some or all of the 9 Points
- join CAN or donate to support this campaign
- volunteer your time to work in this campaign: email firstname.lastname@example.org, ph: 04-972 2552
- get involved in your local cycling user group
Where can you get more information?